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Declining employment among young black less-educated men: The role of incarceration and child support

  • Harry J. Holzer

    (Georgetown University)

  • Paul Offner

    (Urban Institute)

  • Elaine Sorensen

    (Urban Institute)

Registered author(s):

    In this paper, we explore the continuing decline in employment and labor force participation of nonenrolled Black men between the ages of 16 and 34 who have a high school education or less in the 1980s and 1990s. We focus on two fairly new developments: (1) the dramatic growth in the number of young Black men who have been incarcerated and (2) strengthened enforcement of child support policies. We analyze micro-level data from the Current Population Survey Outgoing Rotation Groups (CPS-ORG), into which state-level data over time on incarceration rates and child support enforcement have been merged. Our results indicate that previous incarceration and child support enforcement can account for half or more of the decline in employment activity among Black men aged 25-34. Previous incarceration also contributes to the decline among those aged 16-24. © 2005 by the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management

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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1002/pam.20092
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    Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Journal of Policy Analysis and Management.

    Volume (Year): 24 (2005)
    Issue (Month): 2 ()
    Pages: 329-350

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    Handle: RePEc:wly:jpamgt:v:24:y:2005:i:2:p:329-350
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    1. R. M. Hauser & M. H. Huang, . "Trends in Black-White Test-Score Differentials," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1110-96, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
    2. Kim B. Clark & Lawrence H. Summers, 1978. "The Dynamics of Youth Unemployment," NBER Working Papers 0274, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Rebecca M. Blank, 2002. "Evaluating Welfare Reform in the United States," NBER Working Papers 8983, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Richard B. Freeman & Harry J. Holzer, 1986. "The Black Youth Employment Crisis," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number free86-1, June.
    5. W. Kip Viscusi, 1986. "Market Incentives for Criminal Behavior," NBER Chapters, in: The Black Youth Employment Crisis, pages 301-351 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Charles L. Schultze, 2003. "The Consumer Price Index: Conceptual Issues and Practical Suggestions," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 17(1), pages 3-22, Winter.
    7. George J. Borjas, 1986. "The Demographic Determinants of the Demand for Black Labor," NBER Chapters, in: The Black Youth Employment Crisis, pages 191-232 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Steven D. Levitt, 1995. "The Effect of Prison Population Size on Crime Rates: Evidence From Prison Overcrowding Litigation," NBER Working Papers 5119, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Chinhui Juhn, 2003. "Labor market dropouts and trends in the wages of black and white men," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 56(4), pages 643-662, July.
    10. Harry J. Holzer, 1984. "Black Youth Nonemployment: Duration and Job Search," NBER Working Papers 1276, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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